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Political system earns a mulligan

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Democracy allocates one vote to each eligible individual. Equality may be implied but in our form of representative democracy, inequality is guaranteed. Each individual vote is not of equal value.

There are but two truths about democracy. The first is the widespread delusion amongst the poor that we have one. The second is the chronic terror amongst the rich lest we get one.(1)

Gerrymandering of districts within the various states assures some 95% retention of incumbent seats in the House. Seven states with less than 2% of the population elect 14% of the Senate. One state with more than 10% of the population elect 2% of the Senate. The eleven most populace states with 56% of the population hold a majority of Electoral College votes, sufficient for them alone to elect a President. But there is worse.

Congressional and Administrative leadership of our two party tyranny along with leadership of the Federal Reserve (FED) and the professional corporate-financial ruling class are all "criminally corrupt and have committed treason against the public since at least 1974. Then, Peak Oil was first briefed to the Senate and Exxon/Esso and the banks persuaded the U.S. Government's political leadership to ignore the research and carry on with Empire as usual"(2) and, for the first time since the early '40's, inflation adjusted wages began to fall. Since, retention of a middle class status has increasingly depended upon the expansion of two-income families, longer work hours, and increased family debt.

Legislation related to election finance needs have resulted in apparent social acceptance of legalized bribery resulting in deregulation and all types of kowtowing to special interests. This, coupled with the low-interest-easy-money policy of the FED, has given us an unfettered free market characterized by the off-shoring of jobs, regressive taxation, a diminished middle class, more working poor, increased poverty, and economic collapse. Associated Press's Lindsey Tanner's Nov. 3 report states "nearly half of all U.S. children will be on food stamps at some point during childhood". Meanwhile, the privileged few, while having recent losses associated with the economic collapse, continue to own the country and in turn, its legislators, with 1% of the population possessing an estimated 90% of the country's wealth.

Congress consistently ignores the public majority consensus. Single payer universal health care, taxation, Wall St. vs. Main St., Empire, and war are cited as examples. Carl Jung, one of the fathers of psychology, famously remarked that "people cannot stand too much reality." But let's look at some additional reality anyway.


Peter Camejo has written, "The corporations and the super rich -- through their domination of the government, the media, and educational institutions and of course the two parties -- run our society. The totalitarian rule of money is a self correcting mechanism. It has flexibility which is part of why it is so powerful. The two-party system allows the appearance of differences and adjustments to public sentiment. It has become the single most successful political form for the rule of a minority over a majority in the history of the world. The front line in this denial of democracy is the Democratic Party because it is the instrument that controls, channels and co-opts the forces that otherwise could challenge the rule of concentrated money."

Chris Hedges historically adds, "It was Bill Clinton who (first) led the Democratic Party to the corporate watering trough. Clinton argued that the party had to ditch labor unions, no longer a source of votes or power, as a political ally. Workers, he insisted, would vote Democratic anyway. They had no choice. It was better, he argued, to take corporate money. By the 1990s, the Democratic Party, under Clinton's leadership, had virtual fundraising parity with the Republicans. Today, (with the Obama revolution) the Democrats get more. " (The result is that) the corporate state has rigged our system, hollowed out our political process and steadily stripped citizens of constitutional rights, federal and state protection and assistance." The corporate state holds all the power.

"Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never has and never will. Show me the exact amount of wrong and injustices that are visited upon a person and I will show you the exact amount of wrongs endured by these people."(3) Let us agree that we have reached our limit of endurance.

Now is the time to acknowledge the failure of our two hundred twenty-three year experiment, to declare a mulligan on our political system, to demand change. Now is the time for revolution. It can be a non-violent revolution if, at minimum, a demanded change includes an Article V Constitutional Convention. How such a demand might be instituted will, however, be difficult. Historically, from all of the 50 states, Congress has ignored more than 750 state applications to call such a convention(4) and the Supreme Court is most unlikely to compel them to do so.

"Hope, St. Augustine wrote, has two beautiful daughters. They are anger and courage. Anger at the way things are and the courage to see they do not remain the way they are. We stand at the verge of a massive economic dislocation, one forcing millions of families from their homes and into severe financial distress, one that threatens to rend the fabric of our society. We are waging a war that devours lives and capital, and that cannot ultimately be won. We are told we need to give up our rights to be safe, to be protected.

In the center of Dante's circle the damned remained motionless. If we do not become angry, if we do not muster within us the courage, indeed the militancy, to challenge those in the " corporate state, we will have squandered our courage and our integrity when we need it most."(5)

Anger precedes the courage to act. Our political system has failed, and continues to do so for, the vast majority of Americans. Our political system needs a do-over. Courage is required to challenge the corporate state It took hundreds of street demonstrations by millions of people to obtain civil rights for African-Americans. It will take hundreds of street demonstrations by millions of people to change our political system and to obtain human rights(6) for all Americans.

Congress is the problem. The current system serves its incumbents too well. Congress is incapable of providing a solution. If tens of thousands of Americans would petition State legislators in each of the 50 states demanding through non-violent demonstrations and civil disobedience that each state petition the U.S. Congress to convene a Constitutional Convention, only then might such a convention be convened.

The first order of business of such a convention must include the elimination of campaign finance induced corruption of elected officials. Mandatory public financing would be a first step. The following, for example, would quite likely focus elected officials toward problem resolution favoring the public good, of and for the people, rather than special interest financial backers to their campaigns.

"Candidates for and members of Federal Legislative and Executive branches of government shall be reimbursed from the public treasury for all those expenses associated with running for and with fulfilling the duties of their elected office including travel and imposed additional living expenses while denied receipt of anything of any value from any other source for whatever purpose, other than the federal congressional franking privilege, except upon pain of death."

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A retired MBA, I am a former corporate ideologue, former 3rd party advocate and current curmudgeon. While a continued supporter of a 3rd party, I have concluded their efficacy cannot be demonstrated until our form of Government is changed to (more...)
 

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I hope readers of this fine article go to foavc.or... by Joel S. Hirschhorn on Sunday, Nov 8, 2009 at 8:36:15 AM
Joel,I share your hope that more and more people b... by Harold Hellickson on Sunday, Nov 8, 2009 at 2:26:54 PM